Tag Archives: Public Expression

Chaplain Chosen for US Army Ranger Hall of Fame

Update: The ceremony was covered here.


Each year a select few are chosen to be elevated to the Ranger Hall of Fame, and this year a local Georgia pastor has made the cut.

That pastor is Jeff Struecker (website) of Calvary Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia. He is also former Sgt Struecker, Army Ranger during the fight in Somalia immortalized in Black Hawk Down, who eventually became US Army Chaplain (Maj) Struecker. Struecker, then, is probably a rare theologian inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame.

A recent interview Struecker gave Read more

US Army General Hosts Islamic Iftar

US Army BGen Miguel Castellanos, the CJTF-HOA deputy commanding general, recently hosted an Islamic iftar to celebrate the breaking of the fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The event began with US Navy Chaplain (Cmdr) Abuhena Saifulislam leading some foreign troops in Islamic prayers. (Saifulislam had recently performed the same ritual for the State Department in Djibouti.)

BGen Castellanos made an interesting statement Read more

Troops, Military Leaders Say Discrimination is Prohibited. They’re Wrong.

The “failure” by President Trump to issue a Presidential Proclamation celebrating homosexual behavior in June, as well as the angst over whether the current Administration will reverse transgender “gains” in the US military, has boiled over into military training sessions and “pride” events. Within these discussions a recurring theme has arisen for which Capt Nathaniel Lee, 50th Operations group executive officer at Schriever Air Force Base, provides a relevant example. At a recent transgender panel discussion, Lee said [emphasis added]:

Our core values are very clear; and they are not consistent with discrimination of any kind. If anyone feels they are being discriminated against in any way, it is important to know the Air Force is here to support them…”

The problem is that Capt Lee is wrong.

When the gate guards only Read more

Vice President Pence: Military Service is “Putting Teeth on Your Faith”

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast this week, had an interesting take on military religious freedom. As he paused to recognized veterans and service members present at the breakfast, he said

Would all those who are present here today who have worn the uniform of the United States of America, would those men and women please stand up and allow us to thank you for your service and putting teeth on your faith in defending our freedom? Thank you for your service.

It’s a fascinating way to think about it.

Pence also emphasized the President’s priority on Read more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Monifa Sterling Appeal

Disgraced former Marine LCpl Monifa Sterling’s appeal to the US Supreme Court has been denied.

After being court-martialed on an array of specifications, Sterling had teamed with the First Liberty Institute to appeal a charge related to her posting of Bible verses at her desk. The US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces had denied her appeal — with a dissent.  Her appeal to the Supreme Court was the final step.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein was giddy, awkwardly managing to claim this constituted a win for “religious freedom.”

Even more awkwardly, Weinstein was taken to task by his own supporters for announcing that the denial of cert by the Supreme Court had been “unanimous.” The truth is that no one knows how the individual justices decided on that request for cert. Weinstein was Read more

Air Force Chaplain, Mikey Weinstein Attack National Guard Strong Bonds

An unnamed Air Force chaplain sent a formally formatted complaint to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein in early May, claiming the National Guard Bureau had established “Protestant Christianity” as the “official religion” of the Guard’s Strong Bonds program.

As if to reinforce the fact the letter was written specifically for public consumption, just a few hours after receiving it Weinstein sent off his “demand” letter to General Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. Weinstein made no new allegations but asserted those of the chaplain, who had complained about a line from a National Guard MOI on Strong Bonds.  Regarding Strong Bonds events, the official Memorandum of Instruction said

One voluntary worship service will be conducted at all overnight training sessions, serving to the extent possible, the largest religious demographic represented in accordance with the Constitutional mandate to provide for the “free exercise of religion”. (See “DODI 1300.17”; “AFI 52-101”).

Military regulations can sometimes be ambiguous, vague, and even self-contradictory, so it is understandable that even well-meaning or intelligent members of the military might misunderstand them.

But even graciously speaking, that’s not what happened Read more

President Trump’s “Questionable” Claim on Military Religious Freedom

When President Trump signed his executive order on religious liberty at the beginning of the month, most of the criticism (as the President seems to attract much of it) was focused on the IRS and enforcement of the Johnson Amendment.

A few sites, however, took issue with his reference to religious liberty in the US military. During his Rose Garden announcement on the National Day of Prayer, President Trump said (video):

Just one example, people were forbidden from giving or receiving religious items at a military hospital where our brave service members were being treated and where they wanted those religious items.

Though he made no direct statement, that clearly seems to be a reference to the December 2011 controversy in which Walter Reed updated its visitor policy to say Read more

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